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What Does The Sandy Hook Lawsuit Mean For The Gun Industry?

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              So, the big news yesterday is that Remington has made an initial offer to the parents and family of some of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims, who were killed in a mass shooting on December 14, 2012. The suit was based on a Connecticut law, negligent entrustment, which basically says that if you sell something you know to be dangerous and the purchase then uses the item in a dangerous way, the seller can be held liable.

              The defendant in this case, Remington Arms, which owns the gun company – Bushmaster – which actually manufactured the gun – tried twice to get the action overruled by appealing to the Federal court using the PLCCA rule, which is the law that grants the gun industry immunity from torts. But PLCCA specifically does not cover legal actions brought under negligent entrustment, so this case eventually headed back to state court.

              Then Remington went bankrupt, and all that stuff had to be worked out. Then we have the Pandemic which has slowed down all civil actions in every state, so finally we get to where we are today – nine years after the 20-year old shot his way into the school and proceeded to kill 6 adults, 20 kids, and then shot himself to death.

              Make no mistake about it – this civil action represents a fundamental test for the entire gun industry, a test the industry has never faced before. And the test facing the industry is important and perhaps precedent-setting because for the very first time, a legal action will turn on how the gun industry describes and markets its products which has never (read: never) come close to being true.

              And by the way, for my friends in Gun-nut Nation who will now sit down and send me an email complaining that I am against gun ‘rights,’ save yourself the trouble because I won’t read what you say, and I won’t respond to the same crap again and again. As I have said hundreds of time, the 2nd Amendment is not a ‘right.’ It’s an amendment, okay?

              Back in the 1980’s, the gun industry discovered that what had been its market – hunting and sport shooting – was dying on the vine. It was also a time when the GOP decided to focus its entire domestic agenda on crime. Willie Horton became a poster-child for promoting the idea that you weren’t safe in your home or in the street if you didn’t have a gun. And since most gun owners happen to be politically conservative and thus vote for the read team, the argument stuck.

              The gun industry manufactured more than 1 million pistols for the very first time in 1988. The industry also began to ramp up the manufacture of assault rifles around the same time. Except the problem with the AR-15 was that it looked like, in fact, was an exact copy of the military gun, and was banned from civilian sales for ten years beginning in 1994.

              When the assault rifle ban expired in all but a few Commie states, the gun industry invented the idea that the AR-15 wasn’t an ‘assault rifle,’ it was a ‘sporting’ gun. The kid who killed 26 adults and children at the Sandy Hook school was inside the building for five minutes or less. In that brief period of time, which included the time he used moving into three different classrooms, he fired more than 90 rounds.

              That’s a sporting gun?  That’s going to be used to bring home some venison for the Thanksgiving feast or shoot some high-flying mallards on their way from Canada to Miami Beach? Give me a friggin’ break.

              The gun industry has been promoting totally cynical and make-believe narratives about its products for years. The good news is that the Sandy Hook lawsuit could force the industry to go back to being what it was and should become again, namely, an industry producing products that can be used in ways that do not (read: not) result in gun violence, either against a single individual or a classroom filled with kids.

Want More Gun Safety? Forget Eddie Eagle. It’s Pure PR And Junk.

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              I would like to go to the NRA annual meeting this year, if only to meet and greet many old friends. But the show’s being held in Texas, and I’m not crazy about going to a state which has once again become one of the ‘hot spots’ for Covid-19.

              If I did go, however, because I am a Benefactor Life Member, I can sit in a private lounge, have a free coffee and a snack.  I’ll also be reminded by one of the NRA staff members to increase the size of my endowment but that comes as no big surprise.

              Some of my readers may be a little put off by the fact that I am an NRA member, and have been a member of America’s ’first civil rights organization’ (not really true) since 1954. But I’m also a member of AARP, The Wilderness Fund, the National Parks Conservancy and Triple-A. To be honest, it’s a matter of habit and I’m too old to change.

              At some point Wayne-o will come into the lounge, say hello to all the Benefactor members and even sit down with several of them for a brief chat. If I get a couple of minutes alone with the Executive Vice President, I’m not going to talk to him about that stupid bankruptcy petition that never should have been filed and was thrown out of court. I’m not going to thanks him for protecting my 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

              I’m going to tell him that the NRA needs to get rid of the Eddie Eagle program. Why? Because the program is useless, stupid, and dumb. If the NRA wants to convince people that it’s really concerned about the 125,000 (or more) fatal and non-fatal gun injuries that Americans suffer every year, they won’t do it by promoting Eddie Eagle, that’s for sure.

              The Eddie Eagle program was started by the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, Granny Hammer, in 1988.  In 2015, the program’s messaging was revised by the NRA’s then-advertising agency, Ackerman-McQueen. That’s the bunch that the NRA fired in 2019 when it turned out they were cooking the books on the number of people who were tuning into NRA-TV.

              Now here’s the real kicker. The program is designed to be used in schools so that children can be taught how to behave safely around guns. Its messaging is allegedly to be understood by kids in Grade 1 to 3. In other words, kids between the ages of 6 and 9.

              How many kids of those ages were accidentally killed by guns in 2019?  The CDC says it may have been 8, but it could have been a few more or a few less. Now I know that every life is precious but if you’re going to develop a teaching program to get kids to better understand the risk of guns, what have you really accomplished when your audience accounts for 7% of all the children in America whose lives are cut tragically short because they or one of their friends did something stupid with a gun?

              If the NRA wants to become believable in their claims to be so concerned about how pre-adults handle guns, why don’t they develop a program whose audience are the kids in middle school, i.e., 12 to 14 years of age? Because that’s when kids start getting interested in guns, and it’s those kids who wind up being the victims and perpetrators of most gun violence between the ages of 16 and 34. 

              In 2019, 38,850 Americans died from gun violence, which is the intentional use of a gun to harm yourself or someone else. Of that number, 14,934 were victims of gun violence who were shot by someone else. Know how many of those victims were 16 to 34 years old? Try 8,958, i.e., 60 percent.

              And the NRA is trying to make you believe that the Eddie Eagle program really works?

Shouldn’t Everyone Be Allowed To Walk Around With A Gun?

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I don’t like to repeat the same thing again and again, but I must say that the upcoming SCOTUS session which will hear a challenge to New York’s Sullivan Law seems to be bringing every nut-job out of the woodwork to weigh in – on both sides!

Now I expect Gun-nut Nation to start bleating their usual bleats about how gun-control laws will ‘disarm’ Americans and lead to fascism or worse. I’ll put that one in the same rhetorical trash can which contains the ‘fact’ that getting immunized against Covid-19 will make us sterile and end the human race.  It’s a ‘fact,’ after all.

But I expect better from my friends in Gun-control Nation because they always tout various legislative and/or regulatory responses to gun violence by stating that these schemes are developed with reference to evidence-based ‘facts.’ Not just fact. Evidence-based facts.

Want the latest example of how Gun-control Nation is going to make an argument before the SCOTUS which is just as crazy and ridiculous as anything we get from the other side? A group of African-American public defenders and legal aid groups have filed a brief which asks the SCOTUS to throw out the Sullivan Law because the law is used to “criminalize gun ownership by racial and ethnic minorities.”

And to explain why depriving Blacks of their ‘right’ to own a gun, we have none other than Professor Carol Anderson, whose book, The Second – Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America, shows how gun laws have been used to keep African-Americans powerless. And the moment you give the cops discretionary authority of who can arm themselves with a gun, you know for sure that Black Americans won’t be able to legally own or carry guns.

Professor Anderson says it like this: “Black people are vulnerable when they are armed, and vulnerable when they’re unarmed.” In other words, the Sullivan Law ‘criminalizes’ Blacks because the law doesn’t allow them to arm and protect themselves the way Whites are allowed to arm and protect themselves with guns.

Obviously, if we want laws to be applied equally to everyone, regardless of race, gender, or anything else, we need to take discretionary gun licensing away from the cops because they’ll just use the procedure to deny concealed-carry to Blacks.

I love the idea that if you can’t walk around with a gun in your pocket that you’re somehow making yourself an easier target for someone else who happens to be walking around with a gun. I’ve been hearing that one from the gun industry for the last 40 years since gun makers realized that nobody except some eccentrics like me were still buying guns for hunting and sport.

Way back in the 1960’s, nobody really gave one rat’s damn about 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ There was a little murmur from the corners of Gun-nut Nation during the debates leading up to the Gun Control Act of 1968. But even America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization,’ the NRA, didn’t make big stink when the law came up for a final vote.

That was then, this is now. And now we have a majority of Americans firmly convinced that keeping a gun in your home is a good thing to do, and only seven states still give the cops any decision-making ability to decide who should, and who shouldn’t walk around with a gun.

Want to know what makes people vulnerable to the point that they end up getting killed or wounded because they can’t defend themselves with a gun? It’s actually very simple – we live in a society where nobody backs down. Not only don’t people back down, but we just came through four years in which the country’s Chief Executive got up in front of masses of people every, single week and exhorted them to stand their ground and ‘fight.’

What exactly were all those MAGA knuckleheads fighting for? That was never made very clear. But if you can walk into the local gun shop, plunk down five hundred bucks and walk out with a product that will make it easier to stand your ground, why the hell not?

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What Are Guns Designed To Do?

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As we move towards the Fall and a new session of the Supreme Court of the United States, we will certainly see more and more comments, editorials, and high-strung debates about gun ‘rights.’ This is because the Court is going to take up a challenge to New York’s Sullivan Law and by extension, the existence of discretionary approval for concealed-carry of weapons (CCW) in New York and a few other states.

Ever since two formidable gun researchers, Art Kellerman and Fred Rivara, published work in 1993 and 1994 which found a clear connection between access to guns and increased rates of homicide and suicide, the debate about the social value of guns has swung back and forth.

Our friends in Gun-nut Nation cite research by Gary Kleck, which proposes that using a gun for self-defense results in many violent crimes, perhaps several million violent crimes not being committed each year. On the other hand, research by supporters of Kellerman and Rivara find the opposite to be true.

I happen to think that both sides in this debate tend to ignore a fundamental point. What we do know about gun violence is that the overwhelming number of deaths and injuries caused by using a gun happen to involve guns that are designed for one purpose and one purpose only, which is to shorten human life.

Why do we suffer 14,000 gun homicides as against 75,000 or more non-fatal gun assaults each year? Because the shooter didn’t shoot straight.  It’s really as simple as that. The United States is the only country in the entire world which grants its citizens free, legal access to guns that are issued to our troops. Does this unique legal tradition result in a lower rate of violent crime than we find elsewhere? Not one bit. To the contrary, it gives us a much higher rate of violent crimes that end in a death.

The latest manifesto about the value of walking around with a gun is a piece in National Review where the author takes issue with the ACLU for putting up a podcast which claims that the 2nd Amendment has been used to deprive Blacks of gun ‘rights.’ The podcast’s main speaker is Carol Anderson, whose book on how the 2nd Amendment was drafted and used as a racist code was reviewed by me right here.

Basically, what I said in that review is that her history of the 2nd Amendment’s historical roots may be true, but it’s certainly not the case today that giving Whites CCW licenses but denying the same privilege to Blacks results in more Whites killing Blacks.  Homicide, particularly committed with a gun, is an intra-racial, not inter-racial affair. Yes, shootings have spiked during the Pandemic, but it’s not because Whites are assaulting Blacks or Blacks assaulting Whites.

The reason that Gaston Glock’s gun became the handgun of choice for military, police and gang-bangers was not because it has a polymer frame and not because it takes a double-stack mag. It’s because the barrel is cut with polygonal rather than spiral grooves. What this means is that the bullet runs up the barrel without the escape of gas, which makes the bullet move much faster when it leaves the barrel, which makes the gun much more lethal, even if the bullet doesn’t hit a vital spot.

In other words, what Glock’s gun was designed to do, and this design was then quickly adopted by just about every other company manufacturing guns for the military and police, was to disable or kill someone no matter how quickly the gun would be drawn, pointed, and used.

The issue isn’t whether the 2nd Amendment gives any law-abiding the ‘right’ to walk around with a gun. The issue is whether the 2nd Amendment should give Constitutional protection for the purchase and ownership of guns that were designed only for the purpose of ending human life.

And before you start telling me that you have a ‘right’ to own any gun you want, just remember that what is considered ‘defensive’ gun use to one person may be ‘offensive’ gun use to someone else.

Gun Notes: Research on Guns (Guns in America): Weisser, Michael R.: 9780578453149: Amazon.com: Books

Will The ‘Public Health Approach’ Reduce Gun Violence?

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              There seems to be a general consensus in Gun-control Nation that the most effective way to deal with gun violence is to take a ‘public health approach.’ What this means is that we first define gun violence as a public health ‘threat, then we try to figure out which populations are more susceptible to the threat, then we figure out why the threat occurs, and then we come up with a plan which takes all those issues into account.

              Isn’t this what we did with Covid-19?  First, we learned that a lot of people were getting sick, and the sickness was a serious medial event. Then we learned that the most vulnerable populations were the seniors. Then we figured out that the disease spread mostly through close contact between hosts and potential hosts. Then we developed a vaccine and tried to get everyone to take the shot.

              Last year, probably 130,000 people were victims of gun violence. This year, it looks like the number will be more. So, what have we learned about how to deal with this problem using the ‘public health approach?’

              First, we have learned, and we have known this for many years, that most of the people who are both victims and spreaders of this particular health threat are males. We also know that with the exception of suicides, most of the victims and spreaders of gun violence are between the ages of 16 and 35. We also know that most of the victims and spreaders had some degree of contact before the outbreak of the violence itself. Finally, we also know that most of the victims and spreaders are located in high-crime, inner-city neighborhoods, and a disproportionate number are non-White.

              All the foregoing information can be found in a new book, Gun Violence Prevention, A Public Health Approach. The book, co-edited by our good friend Linda Degutis, was just published by the American Public Health Association, and is designed as “both a primer and a handbook for public health practitioners, advocates, students, policymakers and the public, and will make information about the public health approach to gun violence accessible.”

              The book is a collection of well-referenced articles covering just about all the relevant topics for which the public health approach should be understood and used – homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, social justice, media, advocacy – the works.

              I applaud Linda Degutis and her co-editor, Howard Spivak, for putting together a fairly comprehensive analysis of how public health research and methodologies can be brought to bear against the violence caused by access to guns. There is, however, one little problem with the ‘public health approach’ to gun violence, which the co-editors mention at the very beginning of the text, but do not actually see it as a problem at all.

              Here’s what they say: “This is NOT a book about taking all the guns away. This is NOT about the Second Amendment. This is about creating an environment in which we can be safe given that there are guns present.”

              If the purpose of public health is to create a zero-sum result for any large-scale threat to health, then I hate to break it to Drs. Degutis and Spivak, but you can’t ever achieve that goal as long as the guns are around. The co-editors justify their argument by citing how public health has been used to make cars safer and reduce vehicular injuries while still allowing people to own and drive cars.

              But the analogy between auto injuries and gun injuries doesn’t work. And it doesn’t work for one, simple reason, namely, if someone is injured while driving from here to there, then we figure out whether it was the fault of the driver, or the fault of the car’s design, and we come up with strategies to fix one or both.

              If I were to walk into a room occupied by 15 people, then pull out my Glock 17 and empty the mag, I could kill everyone in that room in 20 seconds or less.

              Know what? That gun would be functioning exactly the way it should function and I would have used it the way it was designed and sold to be used.

Want To Reduce Gun Violence? Just Close Down All The Gun Dealers.

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Here we go again.  The Feds have just announced they are setting up a new task force to deal with ‘gun trafficking.’ They are going to send some cops, probably from the ATF and/or the FBI into 5 cities where gun violence has surged over the past year. The agents will also step up enforcement in the so-called ‘supply areas,’ which are jurisdictions where it’s easier to buy guns which are then ‘trafficked’ into these urban zones.

I stopped doing retail gun sales back in 2015 when the kids who ran the store both got full-time law enforcement jobs and I didn’t trust anyone else to sell the guns. I also stopped doing retail sales because I was fed up with the Department of Revenue’s sales tax audits and the ATF’s inspection nonsense as well.

I’m glad I got out of the retail gun business because I just know that, going forward, the Feds and many of the state-level agencies will come after gun retailers with a vengeance. After all, if gun violence is caused by using guns, what better and more effective way to deal with the problem than to go after the most obvious and public source of the guns?

The new initiative has become so popular, even without anything yet happening, that yesterday Merrick Garland made the NBC National News. A story on Covid-19, a story on the Olympics, a story on the wildfires, and then there was Merrick telling everyone how his ‘task force’ will go into five cities to help the overwhelmed local cops get their hands on the illegal guns.

I may not know much about current-day policing, but I do know a little bit about history. And what I know tells me that from the 16th Century onwards, when the Valois Monarchy attempted to prevent the illegal movement of salt into their domains, there has never been one, single successful effort by any Western government to curtail the movement of a contraband product into a market when that market represents sufficient product demand. How much have we spent on trying to curtail the movement of heroin and cocaine into the United States since Nixon announced the ‘war on drugs’ in 1971?  Try one trillion dollars. Not one billion. One trillion, okay?

Back in May 2006, New York City sued 15 gun dealers in 5 states, charging them with illegally selling guns that wound up being used in crimes committed in New York. The city then sued an additional 12 out-of-state dealers later that year. These lawsuits gave rise to an effort to pass a federal law making gun ‘trafficking’ a specific crime. The law is introduced in every session of Congress and in every session of Congress the law goes nowhere at all.

Here’s the latest and greatest statement about New York’s attempts to fight gun trafficking, courtesy of the New York Attorney General: “The New York State Office of the Attorney General (NYAG) is committed to preventing gun violence across New York State. It does so through its statewide gun buyback programs, defense and enforcement of New York’s gun safety laws, and aggressive disruption of violent gangs and gun trafficking rings by its Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF), which has recovered hundreds of crime guns in recent years.” Yea, right.

Back in 2017, some schmucks in Virginia and New York were busted for moving guns up the ‘iron pipeline’ and selling them on Brooklyn streets. The cops not only nabbed the gun traffickers, they also confiscated 217 illegal guns. The year following this bust – 2018 – the number of shootings which occurred in New York City dropped 5% from the previous year, the lowest number since 1955.

What did New York City do about gun violence in 2019?  The mayor disbanded the 600-man NYPD task force which had been formed to take illegal guns off the city’s streets. What happened to gun violence in 2019, before the Pandemic?  Shootings went back up.

So now it’s back to Square One. Let’s go after all those gun dealers who supply all those illegal guns to all those gun-trafficking ‘rings.’

Talk about plus ca change.

If New York’s Sullivan Law Goes Away, What Difference Will It Make?

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When I lived in New York City, I could carry a concealed gun because I was the manager of a wholesale gun business. In 1983, the day after I notified the police that I was closing down the business because we had sold the building we used for our offices and warehouse, two cops came by from the Licensing Division, took my gun away and told me I could have it back if I applied for a license to own and keep a handgun in my city home.

This process brought me into contact with the city’s infamous Sullivan Law, passed in 1911, which is going to be challenged in the Supreme Court next year. The law only requires a background check in order to keep a gun anywhere within the city, I can even take the gun outside of my apartment if I am going to a shooting range to keep up my shooting skills.

On the other hand, if I want to walk around with a concealed weapon, I have to apply for a different license and I must convince a hearing officer in the Licensing Division that I need to carry a gun because I have either personal safety issues or business reasons which cannot be handled by the normal, everyday policing of the NYPD.

This process, known as discretionary, or ‘may issue’ licensing, was the rule until the mid-1990’s, when a majority of states passed laws allowing for concealed-carry of a weapon (CCW) without any special reason at all. There are now only 8 states which still require someone who wants to protect themselves with a gun outside of their home to justify this desire based on some special need.

The states which still give the cops discretion as to who can and who cannot carry a gun outside the home are CA, HI, MD, DE, NJ, NY, MA, and RI. It is assumed that if the SCOTUS overturns the Sullivan Law, the discretionary, ‘may issue’ laws will quickly disappear in the other states as well.

I happen to live in one of the remaining ‘may issue’ states – Massachusetts. But in fact, police chiefs in just about every jurisdiction in Massachusetts, with the exception of the three large cities – Boston, Springfield, Worcester – routinely grant CCW without any kind of interview or intervention at all.

Before 2002, when Massachusetts moved all state licensing to a central location which was also the office which actually produced the physical license and mailed it to the local chief, many of the small-town cops didn’t even bother to send the application into the state for the background check. As one chief in a town of some 600 residents explained to me, “I know everybody in the town.”

Want to read a really good article which sums up what guns mean to cops in small towns?  You can download it right here. Basically, the article finds that rural cops have a very different view about guns than cops in big cities, because there are endless shootings in urban centers, whereas in the small towns the only thing that gets shot is a deer or a bird.

If the SCOTUS strikes down the Sullivan Law, I can guarantee you that the New York City cops will find some other way to keep law-abiding city residents from getting their hands on guns. Last year, Connecticut’s Governor, Ned Lamont, shut down the state’s fingerprint-processing office because of the Pandemic, which effectively kept anyone applying for a gun license to be approved. He was taken to court by a pro-gun group and was ordered to re-open the office which he did, briefly, and now he’s shut it down again.

Want to walk around town with a gun in your pocket to keep yourself safe and sound? Don’t live in a high-crime place like New York City. Live in some small town like where I live where your CCW application will be immediately approved.

Of course, there hasn’t been a violent crime of any kind committed in my town since a neighbor’s kid ran his dirt bike over my front yard and left some tread marks on the lawn.

[Thanks Gail.]

What Do We Do About Gun Violence?

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Having spent yesterday talking about why we don’t have a spike in gun violence because of all those guns being sold, I think it’s incumbent upon Mike the Gun Guy, or Mike the Know-It-All Gun Guy, to at least come up with a different theory as to why gun violence appears to be out of control. So here goes.

I have a friend, a Black guy, who was a street cop for 20 years in a very high-crime neighborhood located in one of the cities which has recently been experiencing a sharp increase in gun violence, especially random, sporadic shootings in the street. This particular city was a leader in developing anti-gun violence programs and until last year had an annual gun-violence rate which was among the country’s lowest for a city that size.

While my friend was on the job, he finished college. He also did law school and when he took his twenty, he became first a prosecutor, then a judge. Then he went into politics, ran once, and lost, then ran again and was elected to the city council where he still serves and has been mentioned as an up-and-coming mayoral candidate with the possibility of even going beyond to Governor, or Senator, or whatever position is available when he’s ready to run again.

Several years ago, before anyone ever heard of Covid-19, I happened to spend an hour with my friend talking over new and old times. I asked him if being a cop today was different from when he first went on the job. And without so much as hesitating for one second, he replied, “The difference today is that nobody backs down.”

I keep thinking about what my friend said to me that day. I also keep thinking about the growth of a culture which increasingly celebrates the idea that the only way you get any idea across is to plant yourself squarely in someone else’s face. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that this culture is just coming from Trump and the MAGA gang. It’s all over the place and has been out there long before anyone ever heard of Donald Trump.

Know what that schmuck from Florida, Ron DeSantis told a crowd in Pittsburgh back in May? He said, and I quote: “The way to win is to fight back and not take it anymore. Stand your ground!”

Want another version?  Try this video. Here’s a better one – right out of the ‘hood.

 My friends in Gun-control Nation have been lamenting the growth in Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws, claiming that such laws not only encourage people to carry guns, but have made it easier for someone who shoots someone else to claim self-defense. This is particularly true if the shooter happens to be White and the guy who was shot happens to be Black.

That’s all fine and well, but Gun-control Nation’s response to SYG laws doesn’t help us understand how and why such laws exist only in the United States. How come SYG laws only appeared in the United States and don’t exist in countries like Australia and South Africa that were also colonized by populations that brought the same Common Law legal tradition with them when they came from Great Britain and settled frontier zones?

Violence, whether it’s between individuals or between nation-states, happens to be the only threat to the human community that we still don’t understand or know how to prevent. We know how to slow down global warming, we know how to feed the world’s hungry, we know how to identify and eradicate disease. We may not have the political will necessary to respond to those threats, but we know what to do.

For reasons that I don’t know, this country is enamored of violence and this love affair is not going to end just because we enact another law to keep guns out of the ‘wrong hands.’

We need to begin replacing a culture of violence with a culture of non-violence. Easier said than done.

We Know ‘For A Fact’ That The Increase In Gun Violence Is Due To All Those People Buying All Those Guns.

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Last night I was watching one of the ‘fake news’ channels, probably CNN, and they did a brief report on shootings last weekend in which somewhere around 150 people were killed. Why has gun violence become so dreadfully high over the last year? Because everyone’s buying a gun to protect themselves from Covid-19.

I have been listening to this more guns bought = more gun violence for the last 16 months and frankly, it’s a load of crap. Or better said, it’s simply a convenient way to explain a somewhat scary bit of human behavior – gun purchasing – which nobody in Gun-control Nation has yet to try to understand.

Ask the average guy who comes walking out of a gun shop with his Glock 17 why he just laid out $500 bucks for a piece of polymer and tempered steel and he’ll tell you right off the bat that he needs to ‘protect’ himself from all those crazies who are going around burning and looting in this city and that.

Of course, the guy doesn’t happen to live anywhere near those cities, but so what? And if you were to point this out to him, he would think for a second and then say, “Well, it could still happen where I live.” And just to make sure you get the point; he would then remind you that he’s only exercising his 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

Which is also a load of crap because the 2nd Amendment is an amendment, not a ‘right.’ But anyway, back to how and why legal gun sales are the reason for so much gun crime.

Back in April 1992, I happened to be visiting a gun shop in Baltimore, MD. When I arrived at the shop, the line was around the corner and I had to get the owner, Mel Abrams, to let me in the back door. Mel’s shop usually had an inventory of 200-300 handguns, he told me that he expected to be sold out by early afternoon. He had called his wholesaler that morning and was told that the wholesaler was also cleaned out of guns. What was going on?

The night before was the first night of the riot which erupted in Los Angeles after 4 cops were found innocent of beating the sh*t out of Rodney King. But it wasn’t the riot itself which resulted in every handgun in every gun shop being sold the next day. It was the live video that showed some White guy being dragged out of his truck in Los Angeles and then beaten to a pulp by some real ‘street thugs.’

This video played on virtually every TV in every American home where anyone was watching the news. It was repeated the next several days again, and again, and again.

Gun violence and violence in general did spike from 1992 through 1994. But according to the government, this increase in street mayhem was due to crack cocaine. Nobody said anything about all those guns that had been purchased back in 1992. And by the way, gun violence rates began falling in 1994 and ended up dropping by more than 50% over the next five years.

There was another spike in gun sales after 9-11. Even in my gun shop which was in a town that would never have been a terrorist target for Osama bin Laden or anyone else, my shelves were stripped clean. Know what happened to the gun violence rate in my state when we launched the War on Terror? It didn’t change.

Then there was a much bigger and more sustained increase in gun sales after Obama tried to get a new gun law passed following Sandy Hook. Know how many gun homicides were committed in 2012?  Try 11,622. Know how many gun homicides occurred in 2013 when everyone in Gun-nut Nation knew ‘for a fact’ that Obama was going to take away their guns?  Try 11,208.

How come none of the experts who keep saying that the legal purchase of all those guns in the past year is the reason for so much gun violence hasn’t taken one second to compare this year’s spike in gun sales to spikes in other years?  WTFK, okay?

Welcome To The NRA: Weisser, Michael R.: 9798505387108: Amazon.com: Books

Isn’t It About Time We Opened Up That ‘Secret’ Gun Business?

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              Our good friends at The Trace have just published a story about how an old law suit may be used to bring the gun industry out of the shadows and give everyone access to all those gun-industry ‘secrets’ which we have never been told before. The story concerns a lawsuit by the city of Gary, IN charging gun makers with failing to prevent their products from ending up in the ‘wrong hands.’

              One of the common mis-perceptions about the gun business which floats around in Gun-control Nation is the idea that the gun industry is this secret cabal of bloodthirsty gun makers who go out of their way to keep their business as quiet and as far away from public scrutiny as they can.

              The ‘public’ face of the industry, so it is said, is the NRA. But behind the scenes, working to make sure that guns end up being used to kill, injure, and maim, are these bloodsucking, ‘opaque’ gun makers whose behavior is really the reason that gun injuries even occur.

              And what is worse, these stealthy manufacturers are protected by the federal government because they are not only immunized against class-action suits under the notorious PLCCA law,  but their products are also not controlled in any way by the Consumer Products Safety Council which was set up to track injuries caused by all consumer products like bicycles and teddy bears.

              No wonder the gun industry gets away with murder in a literal sense.

              Except there’s only one little problem with this scenario, which our friends at The Trace appear to have discounted as well. And the little problem is that it’s simply not true. In fact, the gun industry is regulated to a much greater degree than any other consumer-product industry, believe it or not.

              If I want to open a store and sell cigarettes to the residents in my town, I just need to get a retail license from the Town Clerk which costs $20 bucks and open an account with the State Department of Finance so that I can send them a monthly payment for the sales tax that I collect. I also have to make sure that my store isn’t across the street from a school, and I have to post a sign in the store that I will not sell cigarettes to anyone under the age of twenty-one.

              Want to know what I have to do to sell guns along with those cigarettes? I not only have to get the retail and sales tax licenses and post the same signage in my shop, I also have to get both state and federal dealer’s licenses to receive and sell guns, along with having my shop inspected by the local police chief who then signs off on my federal license application to the ATF.

Once I get my dealer’s license from the Feds, I then have to keep meticulous records on each and every sale of a gun. I also have to make sure that every customer who buys a gun is first approved for that purchase by the FBI, and these records can all be examined at any time by an ATF team which can walk into my shop without prior notification of a any kind, and hang around checking these records for as long as they like.

Incidentally, these ATF inspectors can and do also show up and examine the same information at every gun-making company and every wholesaler who sells guns to retailers like me.

Are you going to tell me that cigarettes are less dangerous than guns, particularly now that many of the most devoted cigarette addicts are switching to vapes whose health risks we still don’t even understand?

The article in The Trace laments the fact that 16,000 people will be killed this year in gun homicides. The CDC says that more than 440,000 people will die from smoking this year.

And everyone’s so concerned about bringing the ‘secret’ gun industry into the open? Give me a break.

Amazon.com : what is an assault rifle?

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